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Economics


Revenue efforts in mineral producing districts In Indonesia: is there a resource curse?

Adriyanto Adriyanto
Discussant: Daulet Taimagambet
Own source revenues at district level are lower than those at the provincial level in Indonesia, and intergovernmental transfers have persistently become a major revenue source for these districts. However, the average own revenue for mineral producing districts in Indonesia is lower than it is in non-producing districts, which may suggest the presence of a resource curse. This paper investigates whether natural resource endowments are a disincentive for mineral producing districts to raise additional revenues. This paper uses a newly constructed revenue dataset of 302 mineral producing districts for the period of 2001-2012. The empirical analysis is based on a fixed effect approach and system GMM. The main finding of this paper is that the presence of forests discourages revenue raising efforts in mineral-producing districts in Indonesia. The effect of resource revenue sharing on revenue raising efforts is absent. However, un-earmarked grants (DAU) to districts and resource revenue sharing together discourage revenue efforts. This study finds evidence that mineral- producing districts fail to benefit from local GDP per capita as potential tax base.

Adriyanto previously worked for Indonesia Ministry of Finance and in charge of international cooperation, including G-20, the World Bank and IMF. His research interest in the field of public finance, environment and development.

adriyanto.adriyanto@anu.edu.au


The paradox of specialisation: Technological expansion and economic stagnation

Akshay Shanker
Discussant: Neal Hughes
Modern economies are about specialisation. We think of innovation and specialisation as related to new products, industries, opportunities for meaningful employment and the holy grail of policy -- growth. This paper presents a theoretical mechanism by which the expansion and specialisation of an economy can slow down its growth rate. This might at first seem paradoxical, but the mechanism is based on a simple insight, that specialisation means new technologies are more and more different from each other. Each technology has its own frontier, and it takes significant effort and investment for skilled workers to master a particular field. As new technical sectors emerge, the research effort directed to pushing at each frontier decreases. Unless the growth rate of skilled workers keeps up, this leads to a slow-down in growth. The paper also reviews some empirical evidence to argue this mechanism is a key aspect of stagnation in western economies.

akshay.shanker@anu.edu.au


Small states, big effects? Oil price shocks and economic growth in small island developing states

Alrick Campbell
Discussant: Arjuna Mohottala
This study employs a structural VAR model to investigate the relationship between oil price shocks and various macroeconomic aggregates including real GDP growth, inflation and the real exchange rate in seven small island developing states (SIDS) that are either net oil-exporters or importers. In using annual data covering the period 1980 to 2012, preliminary findings suggest that increases in oil prices are associated with improved economic growth performance and inflationary pressures in all countries. This relationship continues to hold when the effects of global demand, fiscal policy, oil intensity, and the exchange rate regime are also accounted for. Though this result contravenes the predictions of the theoretical literature, a likely explanation is that oil price shocks do not reduce the real GDP of oil-importing SIDS because of the offsetting role played by the real exchange rate. Additionally, the increased revenue accumulated by oil exporters helps to stabilise oil-importing countries through economic transfers in the form of tourism, remittances, and foreign aid.

Alrick Campbell is a second year PhD candidate at the Crawford School of Public Policy. He is from Jamaica and his key areas of interest include productivity measurement, electricity pricing, and the role of energy in small island developing states.

alrick.campbell@anu.edu.au


Land reforms, labor allocation and economic diversity: evidence from Vietnam

Huy Nguyen
Discussant: Thang Vo
This paper investigates the impacts of land fragmentation as a measure of agricultural technical change on economic diversity of farm households in Vietnam. To develop the empirical analysis, a model is presented in which the estimated impact of land fragmentation on economic diversification allows for non-neutral technical change. The paper tests the theoretical predictions of this model by providing empirical evidence of the impact of land fragmentation on farm and nonfarm outcomes such as labour supply, profits, labour intensity and productivity. By using different methods aimed at verifying and checking the consistency of the results, we find that land consolidation may reduce farm labour supply, labour intensity, and improve farm profits and productivity. Similarly, it may release more farm labour to nonfarm sectors and increase nonfarm profits. The empirical results show that factor-biased technical change play an important role in explaining the impact of agricultural technical change on economic diversification in Vietnam.

My name is Huy Nguyen, and I am a PhD student at the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics. My research focuses on policies to support and improve the livelihood of farm households in rural Vietnam such as land polices in rural transformation, crop diversity and productivity growth of small farms, and social transfers for low-income households.

huy.nguyen@anu.edu.au



Global public goods and coalition formation under matching mechanisms

Larry Liu
Discussant: Tomohito Okabe
Matching mechanisms have been proposed to mitigate underprovision of public goods in voluntary contribution models. This paper investigates coalition formation under matching mechanisms with multiple players who have the same preference but different incomes. Given income heterogeneity within a certain range, there always exist small matching rates which make all members in the coalition better off. However, given other players staying in the coalition players have incentives to take free rides and the matching coalition does not exist. If players value their reputation, they would stay in the coalition when the gain of free riding is lower than the reputation loss. Due to heterogeneity, the matching coalition faces trade-off between matching depth and breadth. The policy implication is that the matching rate can be flexibly set to compromise between cooperation depth and breadth and, more importantly, it may achieve Pareto-improving outcomes while avoiding international side payments.

Larry Liu is a final-year PhD candidate in Economics at CAMA. His research focuses on public goods and climate policy, economic growth and resource exploitation, and CGE modeling.

larry.wf.liu@anu.edu.au



Accounting for Myanmar consumption expenditure inequality, 2004/05-2009/10

Lwin Lwin Aung
Discussant: Yessi Vadila
This research aims to understand inequality in Myanmar. It utilizes a comprehensive household expenditure data set from 2004/05 and 2009/10 called the Integrated Household Living Condition Assessment (IHLCA) surveys. Expenditure inequality in Myanmar, rural and urban inequality, inequality in different states and regions are reported. The decomposition of consumption expenditure by urban and rural, and states and regions presents the contribution of each to overall inequality and their between and within inequality, both spatially and over time. Different measures of expenditure inequality for 2004-05 and 2009-10 distributions of total expenditure per adult equivalent indicate that inequality in Myanmar declined. Nationally, the decrease in inequality indices: Gini coefficient, Theil index, Mean Log Deviation (MLD) and Atkinson indices over time was statistically significant. The nationwide Gini coefficient for expenditure per adult equivalent decreased from 0.262 to 0.227 between 2004-05 and 2009-10. In addition, between group inequality of rural and urban has decreased about one-third between 2004-05 and 2009-10 and the decrease is statistically significant for all generalized entropy inequality indices. Within group inequality of rural and urban has declined about 30%, 24% and 57% measured by MLD, Theil index and GE(2) respectively from 2004-05 to 2009-20, but the changes are not statistically significant. Moreover, between group inequality of rural and urban stood at 12% and 15% of total inequality, measured by MLD and Theil index respectively, in the year 2004-05 and the corresponding contribution to the total inequality had slightly decreased in 2009-2010. Within group inequality of rural and urban stayed at 88% and 85% of total inequality, measured by MLD and Theil index sequentially, in the year 2004-05. However, the corresponding contribution to the total inequality increased in 2009-2010. A similar trend is found for between and within groups’ inequality of states and regions contributed to total inequality. Therefore the results confirms that a substantial part of expenditure inequality in Myanmar is not spatial.

Lwin worked for Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, a number of INGOs and LNGOs, the Policy Unit at UNDP, the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force in Myanmar. Lwin has been selected for the Australian Leadership Awards Scholarships for the 2011 intake to study at the Australian National University.

lwin.aung@anu.edu.au

Applying reinforcement learning to single and multi-agent economic problems

Neal Hughes
Discussant: Akshay Shanker
Reinforcement learning (aka approximate dynamic programming) provides a range of algorithms for solving Markov Decision Problems (MDPs), which do not require ex ante models of the `environment' (the payoff and transition functions). Rather agents `learn' optimal polices by observing the outcomes (e.g., the payoffs and state transitions) of their actions. We focus in particular on fitted Q iteration (Ernst et al. 2005): a batch version of Q-learning (Watkins 1992). The method is proven to converge (in the single agent case) for certain types of function approximators - we focus on two popular approximation schemes: `tile coding’ and ‘random forests’. A central focus of the paper is solving complex multi-agent problems - stochastic games - where each agent faces a MDP with transition and payoff functions that are dependent on the actions of the other players. We demonstrate these methods in the context of single and multi-agent water storage problems.

Neal Hughes is completing a PhD in economics at the ANU, with the aid of a Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Scholarship. Neal's research focuses on the design of water property rights in rivers controlled by large dams.

neal.hughes@anu.edu.au


Productivity and efficiency in rice production in Myanmar

Nilar Aung
Discussant: Lwin Lwin Aung
This research analyses the source and extent of potential productivity and efficiency gains through agricultural marketing reform, and determine the relationship between rice production and rural development in Myanmar. The study uses a author-collected farm household survey data across 30 villages, specifically 634 farm households in the main rice growing regions, especially Ayeyarwady, Bago and Sagaing in 2014. The stochastic production frontier model is applied to capture the factors determining the potential effects of rice production. The findings show that the irrigation, agriculture extension services, access to credit and distance to markets significantly influence on the efficiency of rice production. In particular, productivity of farms in the Delta Region (Ayeyarwady and Bago) is greater than those in the Dry Zone (Sagaing), suggesting the need for sustainable irrigation facilities in Sagaing Region. Furthermore, the requirement of effective agricultural extension service, insufficient amount of agricultural loan and slow development of credit markets, and poor rural infrastructure are seen as constraints on the growth of rice production as well as rural development in the selected regions.

Nilar is a second year PhD candidate in Economics at the Crawford School. The focus of her research is on productivity and efficiency for rice production and rural development in Myanmar.

nilar.aung@anu.edu.au

Mental health and disengaged youth

Paul Amores
Discussant: Samuel Weldgeezie
Socio-economically disadvantaged youth are found to have worse mental health and be less economically active. Poor mental health is correlated with lower levels of economic activity, particularly employment. While current activity tends to be persistent, at least half of those who were economically inactive at age 18 were fully engaged at 20. Similarly, we find significant persistence in mental health between 18 and 20. It is concerning that the persistence of inactivity, and relationship between mental health and economic outcomes, is found to be stronger among disadvantaged youth. Data are from the Youth in Focus project, which covers almost all Australians born between 1 October 1987 and 31 March 1988, including disadvantaged youth and comparison groups of those from middle and upper-middle income families. Administrative data provides us with information about the incidence, timing and intensity of welfare receipt while the young person was growing up.

Paul is a PhD student at the Crawford School of Economics and Public Policy. His research focuses on the role of mental health as a pathway for intergenerational disadvantage.​

paul.amores@anu.edu.au



Shining a light on the Indonesian oil palm and development debate with big data

Ryan Edwards
Discussant: Yessi Vadila
Many social scientists and NGOs argue that the recent expansion of the Indonesian oil palm sector has not been beneficial for the poor, and that the growth of large firms has made people poorer. Instead they argue for smallholder-focused development, which is only a fraction as productive as the private and government sectors. There is currently no systematic evidence on the sector’s development effects to back either team in this heated debate. We use the World Bank’s first public sub-national database to shine light on these critical issues. Firstly, we estimate the impact of increased oil palm production and employment on various measures of welfare. Secondly, we disaggregate oil palm activity by the private, government, and smallholder sectors, to identify each sub-sector’s relative contributions to poverty reduction and broader human development.

Ryan Edwards is a PhD candidate in the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics and the Crawford School. His current research focuses on the human development dynamics associated with natural resource richness and a booming resource sector, from mining to more diffuse agricultural commodities like palm oil.

ryan.edwards@anu.edu.au


Fiscal decentralisation and economic growth: evidence from Vietnam

Tai Dang Nguyen
Discussant: Umbu Raya
Since the beginning of the renovation process or “Doi Moi” in 1986, Vietnam’s economy has experienced relatively high economic growth. Besides greater openness in trade and investment, governance reform has been one of the driving forces of the country’s fast and sustainable growth. Fiscal decentralisation has been one of the key reforms that saw central government granting more fiscal autonomy to provincial governments, who now have a greater discretion than before in collecting and distributing resources for developmental purposes in their jurisdictions. Using a unique panel dataset of 63 provinces in Vietnam, this paper examines the effects of fiscal decentralization on economic growth in Vietnam for the period 2004-2011. One of the contributions of the paper is a measurement of fiscal decentralisation as the ratio of own source revenue over total expenditure of each province. The empirical models adopted also address the concerns of endogeneity and unobserved heterogeneity between provinces.

Tai Dang Nguyen is a PhD candidate in economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University. His interests include development economics and public finance. His current research focuses on the role of government spending and fiscal decentralisation on development outcomes in Asian emerging market economies.

tai.nguyen@anu.edu.au


Trade liberalization, poverty, and inequality in Indonesia

Yessi Vadila
Discussant: Ryan Edwards
Over several decades, Indonesia has experienced vast trade liberalization by reducing import tariff and participating in many trade agreements. The nexus of trade liberalization and poverty are widely debated and there are numerous opinions on the issue. This paper tries to examine the effects of trade liberalization over the period of 1977-2012 on regional poverty and inequality measurements in 26 Indonesian provinces. This study uses a range of data sources: TRAINS tariff data, Indonesia’s Import Tariff Books, Indonesia’s National Socio-Economic Household Survey, National Labour Survey, Population Census, Industrial Statistics and National Input-Output Table. Our methodology follows Amiti and Konings (2007) and Kis-Katos and Sparrow (2013) with some modifications. This study will contribute to the empirical micro literature by offering an intriguing case study on the welfare effects of trade liberalization.

Yessi Vadila is a PhD candidate in economics at the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics. Yessi’s research focuses on the impact of trade liberalization on welfare in Indonesia. Her areas of research interest also include poverty, inequality, environmental economics and trade policies.​

yessi.vadila@anu.edu.au


Optimal regulatory regime and competition: a theoretical model and a case study of Chinese SOEs

Zhen Qi
Discussant: Paul Hubbard
Theoretically, this paper newly investigates the optimal regulatory regime problem in a transition economy’s state sector, where industrial bureaus play an important role. The principle chooses regulatory regime based on the trade-off between regulators’ effort inducing and collusion proof. As the market competitiveness increases, the principle can benefit more from switching separated regime to integrated one. Practically, from a fresh perspective, it sheds light on the logic that lies behind changes in Chinese SOEs’ regulatory regimes and compares regulatory outcomes for different SOEs. Furthermore, it tries to explain the evolution of Chinese SOEs’ investments and performances corresponding to different regimes.

Zhen Qi is a PhD student in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and a visiting PhD in Crawford School of Public Policy. Currently, his research focuses on information economics, regulatory economics and economy in transition countries.

zhen.qi@anu.edu.au




Environment and Development


Open access spatial data for effective disaster risk reduction

Christina Griffin
Open access to spatial data has many benefits for disaster risk reduction. The ability to locate hazardous areas and overlay this with assets at risk, such as roads, schools and infrastructure, provides a useful tool to assist disaster planning and response. Initiatives such as Open Street Map are allowing governments and humanitarian organisations to access spatial data for free. Furthermore, communities are able to contribute to the collection of this data allowing their ‘local data’ to create ‘big data’. Open access spatial data is increasingly being used in Indonesia by government, humanitarian organisations and local communities to plan and coordinate disaster risk reduction activities. This presentation will outline some of these initiatives and will demonstrate how such data can be used to better understand vulnerability and support effective disaster management plans. The Dieng Plateau, a volcanic landscape in central Java, Indonesia will be used as a case study.

Christina Griffin is a PhD student studying natural hazards and land-use change in Central Java, Indonesia.

christina.griffin@anu.edu.au


Institutions, equality and empowerment in community forestry in Vietnam: impacts on rural livelihoods

Hanh Nguyen
Community forestry has been undertaken in many countries since the mid-1980s. The assumption underlying community forestry is that it is a viable approach for sustainable forest management and livelihood improvement for forest-dependent communities. However, the livelihood outcomes in many cases may not be positive for various reasons. In this presentation, I will provide a preliminary analysis of data documented about the relationship between the livelihood outcomes and institutional structures and processes, equality and empowerment in community forestry cases in the world. I will also discuss some propositions about this relationship in a community forestry scheme in Vietnam as a case study.

Hanh Nguyen is a PhD candidate at Crawford School of Public Policy at the ANU. She has done research on effects of Payment for Ecosystem Services schemes on local livelihoods. Her current research focuses on institutions, power relations and livelihoods in community forestry in Vietnam.

hanh.nguyen@anu.edu.au

Giving rights to nature: A new institutional approach for overcoming social dilemmas?

Julia Talbot-Jones
Big data is at its best when analysing things that are extremely common and quantifiable, but what happens when something is completely new and reliant on dynamic social process? For a river in New Zealand that was given legal standing in 2014, the physical science of big data does not resolve the immediate social science challenges associated with understanding how granting a river the same “rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person" may effect governance of the public good. Consequently, this research uses ‘little data’ to introduce a new institutional arrangement for transcending social dilemmas to enable the better alignment of public and private interests. Using the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework as a guide, this presentation will consider how granting the Whanganui River (or Te Awa Tupua as it is now called) its own independent “voice” and rights to ecosystem health and wellbeing may change the governance arrangement of the river. A brief exploration of the potential effectiveness of this change will also be undertaken highlighting opportunities for further research.

Julia Talbot-Jones has an academic background that bridges economics and ecology. As part of her PhD, she is looking at how giving nature legal standing may impact peoples’ choices and preferences towards public good provision in order to explore its viability as an alternate resource management mechanism.

julia.talbot-jones@anu.edu.au


Rising international mabour migration in Nepal: A pathway out of rural poverty?

Ramesh Sunam
Despite a vast sea of literature, the issue of (re)production of rural poverty continues to generate academic and policy discourses in the global South. In such discourses, scholars and policy makers have interpreted pathways out of rural poverty in different, often contrasting, ways. In this paper, I focus on the case of rural Nepal as a ‘window’ to unfold the stories of international migration in its interrelationships and intersections with social inequalities, having profound implications for poverty. Drawing on the ethnographic fieldwork in a rural village from Nepal, this paper shows that the rural poor have experienced improved livelihoods through the inflow of remittances, rising rural employment and increased access to land. In the light of the recent trend of commodification of land and subsequent dispossession of farmers, I argue that migration produces new forms of poverty too.

Ramesh Sunam is a PhD student at the Crawford School. His research interests include poverty, agrarian change and forest governance. He has published papers in Society and Natural Resources, International Forestry Review and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

ramesh.sunam@anu.edu.au


Policy and Governance (POGO)


Where big data meets no data

Belinda Thompson
In the health systems of developing nations, the absence of data is more characteristic than big data. The lack of robust research and academic data has resulted in poorly conceptualised, porous dichotomies including the public/private health divide. Where no data exists, assumptions have been made which undermine the ability of those working in the health systems space to identify solutions to pressing issues in global health. This paper demonstrates the need for a more nuanced understanding of this area of health systems in order to better capture the work of not-for-profit, non-government hospitals and clinics. The research spans both academic literature sources and established grey literature sources.

Belinda Thompson is a second year PhD Student at Crawford School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on not-for-profit, non-government hospitals and large clinics in developing countries in Asia.

belinda.thompson@anu.edu.au


Domestic sources of Japanese foreign policy

Ben Ascione
Japanese foreign and security policy has in recent years shown signs of being increasingly susceptible to influence by right-wing nationalists. This includes a shared objective to overcome the postwar regime and convert the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to a more active military without legal restrictions on its use of force, steppingstone moves to loosen the legal restraints on SDF such as collective self-defence, Japan’s tougher posture toward the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute with China, historical revisionism which seeks to downplay Japan’s wartime wrongdoings, and Japan’s North Korea policy which prioritizes the abduction issue at the expense of progress on denuclearization negotiations. Dominant theories of international relations, such as Realism, fail to explain such influences on Japanese foreign policy as they emphasize the state as a unitary rational actor. Both endogenous and exogenous sources of foreign policy must be taken into consideration; black boxing domestic politics conceals an important part of the picture.

Ben Ascione is a PhD candidate in international relations at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, an associate researcher at the Japan Center for International Exchange, and an associate editor at the East Asia Forum's Japan and North Korea desks. His doctoral research focuses on the influence of domestic politics on Japanese foreign policy.

benjamin.ascione@anu.edu.au


Could order and ambition emerge from the fragmented climate governance complex?

Eliza Murray
Over the past two decades, climate change governance has become a complex web of institutions, with over 100 international forums and a vast array of national, local and non-government initiatives. Experts are worried that this fragmentation creates loopholes, inefficiencies and conflict, and some have called for centralised coordination through the UN. But could coordination instead emerge from the bottom up? From flocking birds to flowing traffic, complexity science has shown how order can emerge from the seemingly simple interactions between individuals in a system. This research adopts a systems perspective to analyse the dynamics of the climate governance complex across scales. Using hyperlink network analysis and qualitative methods, it measures the degree of fragmentation of the climate governance system and investigates which sectors and regions are most fragmented.

Eliza Murray is currently researching the global governance of climate change with the support of the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation. She was awarded the Garnaut Prize for Academic Excellence in 2012, and her previous roles include Director of Land Sector Policy at the (then) Australian Department of Climate Change.

eliza.murray@anu.edu.au


Marital assimilation of Central Java people in separate destinations: Investigating pattern of exogamous marriages and status exchange

Hasnani Rangkuti
Marital assimilation is considered as a proxy of social assimilation and acceptance between two groups, usually between migrants and native people at destination. The aim of this study is to examine patterns of exogamous marriages and status exchange among Central Java couples. Using 2010 Indonesian Population Census data, the unit of analysis is married co-resident couples found in BBK and JMR, by their ethno migration status and ethnicity. This study finds inter-marriages patterns are subject to places and approaches. Rate of exogamous marriages is lower in JMR than in BBK either measured by ethno migration status or ethnicity. There seems to be no sex differences on inter-marriages, education positively influences the likelihood of being in inter-marriages for both husbands and wives in BBK and JMR. This study also finds that status exchange on education is evident among Central Java born inter-marriage couples in BBK but not in JMR.

Hasnani Rangkuti's current research focuses on the out-migration from Central Java, migration outcomes and ethnic inter-marriages. Her interests also include demography and population studies.

hasnani.rangkuti@anu.edu.au


Facing our demons: Do mindfulness skills help people deal with failure at work?

James Donald
In the uncertain world of public policy making, decision-makers and managers face setbacks almost every day – from missed policy opportunities, to negative feedback from a ministerial office. The way managers respond to these setbacks is important, and has implications for organisational performance and culture. When a person acknowledges his or her failures and acts to address them, valuable lessons can be learned and issues resolved. When failures are avoided or denied, this opportunity is lost. This research explores whether mindfulness-based skills can help people deal more effectively with failure. Mindfulness involves being open to present moment experience, however difficult, with a non-judgemental attitude (Zabat Zinn, 1986). There is evidence that mindfulness is associated with improvements in coping with stress (Weinstein et al, 2008). The present research extends the research in this area, by testing experimentally whether a brief mindfulness ‘induction’ helps people cope effectively with set-backs. Three studies found preliminary support for this hypothesis. Study 1 found that individuals reporting high levels of every-day mindfulness were more likely to proactively respond to a setback and less likely to avoid the issue. Study 2 found that among individuals reporting high levels of everyday stress, a brief mindfulness ‘induction’ resulted in less avoidance behaviour following a stressful event. Finally, Study 3 found that among people reporting high stress levels, individuals who received a short mindfulness induction were more likely than controls to seek assistance following poor performance. This research provides preliminary evidence that in high-stress settings, even a brief mindfulness induction can influence people’s basic responses to a setback. Implications for workplace culture and performance in high-stress settings will be discussed.

James is a third year PhD candidate at the Crawford School. His research explores resilience in high-stress workplaces, and whether mindfulness training builds resilience in this context. He also has his own training company.

james.donald@anu.edu.au

Water affordability and state water concessions in Australia

Noel Wai Wah Chan
The subject of water affordability has recently gained significance as urban water prices increase across all Australian cities. However, little empirical research has been progressed on measuring water affordability and the effectiveness of social policies that were designed to ease affordability issues. This paper presents the findings from my PhD thesis and develops a localised affordability standard, by integrating objective and subjective measures, to identify households that encounter affordability stress and hardship. The paper further advances a number of frameworks to evaluate the equity and efficiency of state water concessions, and these findings contribute to future concession reform.

Noel Wai Wah Chan is a PhD scholar (Public Policy) at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU. Before commencing her PhD study, she worked as a Research and Project Officer for ANU Water Initiative, Conservation Officer at WWF Hong Kong, and Campaign Officer at The Conservation Association (Hong Kong).

noel.chan@anu.edu.au


‘Putting a Value On It’. The value that New Zealand educational entrepreneurs plan to create

Steve Thomas
Much has been made of the promise that social entrepreneurs can harness the power of free enterprise and innovation to solve difficult problems facing disadvantaged communities, whose needs are neglected by the government, the free market or even the non-profit sector. This research explores the kind of value educational social entrepreneurs who run a new kind of public-private partnership school in the New Zealand education system plan to create. It is proposed that social entrepreneurs plan to create value by contributing to human development, through innovations which carry out new combinations of human capabilities. The findings show that this framework can describe and explain the value that educational entrepreneurs plan to create, as a kind of social entrepreneurship. Educational entrepreneurs plan to create value not only through improving educational outcomes, but also by enhancing complementary capabilities that affect educational achievement and welfare—such as deepening pupils’ cultural competences, and addressing family dysfunction, poor health or material poverty. These findings suggest that educational entrepreneurship could well improve the fortunes of marginalised communities.

I am a second year PhD Scholar, studying the impact of educational entrepreneurs in the New Zealand school system, as a kind of social entrepreneurship. I hope that my research can contribute to not only academic discussion but also policy debate.

steven.thomas@anu.edu.au